SpaceX's Starship halves come together ahead of a big event

Tuesday, 01 Oct, 2019

As for the specifics of the Starship, when completed, it should stand at 50 metres tall with a diameter of nine metres. Something that Musk does not foresee as a problem as the company's resources are overwhelmingly on Falcon and Dragon, especially crew Dragon, said the CEO when asked about dealings with the USA space agency. This would involve the Starship meeting a similarly-sized vehicle during its Earth orbit to refuel before it goes on the long trip to another planet.

Starship was first unveiled in 2016 as a fully reusable spacecraft and back then, it was called Interplanetary Transport System (ITS).

"The critical breakthrough that's needed for us to become a space-faring civilization is to make space travel like air travel", he told space enthusiasts and reporters gathered at SpaceX's development site in Texas.

Musk claimed the rocket's first orbital flight could come in the next six months, followed by missions to space with humans aboard the next year. In 2017, it was renamed the Big Falcon Rocket (BFR) and the design was updated as well.

As per Musk, human beings are the only conscious beings living in the universe and using this consciousness, our species should try hard to emerge as a multi-planetary species. "In about one to two months", he said. "So that giant thing, it's really going be pretty epic to see that thing take off and come back".

The spaceship will also include the functions for "orbital refilling", which would allow fuel to be transferred from spacecraft to spacecraft in Earth's orbit - something which Mr Musk said is easier to do than docking at the International Space Station (ISS).

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk braved the wind to give the faithful an update on the progress of the Starship and Super Heavy program from the company's Boca Chica facility in Texas.

"We are going to be building ships and boosters ... as fast as we can". A 200-ton, 165 ft-tall stainless steel rocket that will use three of SpaceX's next-gen Raptor engines to test out its flight capabilities through a series of propulsive landing tests. Not everyone was bubbling over with enthusiasm over the SpaceX announcement. In the meantime, Commercial Crew is years behind schedule. Starship could take to the skies before the end of winter 2020 - perhaps even before the end of 2019 - and it could do so with passengers aboard by later in the same year.